“Can I tell you how CEF really helped? It was one place that I could go where all the things could be addressed which were really overwhelming. I could come to you and we could break it down and work on every piece of it that I needed to work on.”
We connected with Eva while she and her daughter were staying at the women and children’s shelter in Chapel Hill. “My daughter’s name is Vivian and she is six years old and she’s in first grade and she’s totally my main motivation. She’s what has pushed me to not give up, to keep going.”
Vivian is a bundle of delight, ready to tell you how she taught her herself to ride a bike. Eva worked hard to make sure Vivian had a sense of normalcy while the two were living at the shelter for seven months, arranging play-dates or visiting the children’s museum.
Eva partnered with her CEF advocates to connect to resources and find housing. Now with a cozy house for the two of them, Eva proclaims, “This is the first time that I have ever been in a real home that was my own, period. Either I was living with my parents or I was living with someone that I was dating, or I was paying someone $100 to stay on their couch when I was in college or I was taking out loans to stay in a dorm.” Eva graduated from UNC-Greensboro with a major in Dance, though laughing she says “I only dance in the living room now.”
Eva and Vivian’s move out of homelessness was a struggle. The affordable home they found took months to be repaired to code, leaving the two sleeping on friends’ couches for a month after their stay in the shelter. Of CEF she shares, “I just was generally overwhelmed, so it was nice to know that there was somebody out there who had my back.”
What does their new, stable home mean for Eva and Vivian? “This is the first time I’m going to have the chance to parent how I want to parent.” And Eva has the dreams of a devoted mother for her daughter’s life… “I want her to have self-worth, and I want her to be able to support herself fully, that’s important to me, to feel good about herself… I guess the things I really want for her are more like personal qualities. Whatever goals that she has I will support her, but what kind of human being she is, that is the most important for me.”
Eva has so much to be proud of. “I’m worlds away from where I was. Now I’m gaining independence, getting to be self-supporting.” Her CEF team will continue to have her back!